Here’s a poem I wrote after being inspired one morning as an Investment Banking analyst while taking a cab to work through the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. I saw a homeless person in the streets and I imagined the potential of his life in an alternate universe. I saw him as being stranded as if on an island from that potential and this is symbolically captured by his hypothetical child who he has never met. There was an intense amount of creative energy in that split second and I rushed to my desk in order to write this poem down.
You’ll see that it has a Kubla Khan-esque theme surrounding the creative world and it highlights impressionistically the difference between the moment and the world to be. It celebrates the power of the morning to start a new day without the burdens, obligations, and moral challenges with which we fell asleep the night before. Finally, it ends with a glimmer of hope that grows from an every-day observance in transcending the material basal world towards a higher spiritual plane.
In winter-strained, morrow sun am I found
Watching light brush frayed fibers of an old man’s hat
Who stands in the ‘Loin
Tending to a steaming cup of an unknown brew.
There’s black man, a weathered man.
There’s a child-stranded father
But in almost rags.
There’s a crowd of equal peaceful passer byes
And in those knowing eyes the sparrows ask
where’s the island of his child?
The child’s father sips amid bustling but silence,
It’s a whisper to the moment when art is made
And in your watching heart a smile is laid
And thus are you spun into a painting with feelings of life.
Midst the colors of buildings peacefully aged,
There’s a beautiful city where you
In the morning light wake to dream.
And arise to a beautiful feeling of
Waking love for the day.
The night’s crimes are washed in the morrow
And in the vapors of a vision
Are our crimes forgotten, and our tears unwanted
Dry as pools of passing sorrow
To free to life Hope and Story once reflections of a ripple
And so do scions of Science convert to Fate
When a crossing child-stranded father but stands to wait.
Tariq Khan (June 2001)